Make no mistake, for this strong, 3mm plate aluminium Savage 425 Big Kahuna is one tough customer, but bolt on a 30hp Suzuki 2-stroke and you have a compact, competent rig that is also a ton of fun.
Thanks to Don Morton Marine we got our hands on this little beauty on Garden Island recently, in perfect conditions with the waters of Barker Inlet sunlit, blue and beckoning.
For such a basic piece of kit, the 425 Big Kahuna nonetheless drew the eye with its flawless, gleaming finish, both inside and out, tasteful deep blue carpet and very pleasing lines. On closer inspection the hull revealed a full-length keelson with two running strakes per side and a spray rail welded above the chine. There was even a very serviceable boarding step set to port with a substantial grab rail along with a transducer bracket.
Ease of handling at the ramp was provided for with two transom handles plus bow rails. This is an ideal “single handed” rig which could be customised effectively on a very low budget.
Don Morton Marine had made a very neat job of installing the 30hp Suzuki, which was complimented by the clean layout in the section aft of the bench seat. Both battery (to starboard) and fuel tank opposite sat on carpeted racks, which we found was enough to keep them firmly in place while testing the 425 Big Kahuna at near top speed.
The 2-person bench seat was foam filled, with side pockets placed within easy reach just forward. At the bow was a full width, carpeted fishing deck, which featured a large central hatch. Within this we found a pair of oars and space for plenty of other bulky items.
This 425 Big Kahuna was in standard form, but factory options included full length side rails, two rod holders, a two-tone paint job and glove box with drink holders.
Having launched at the Garden Island public boat ramp, we fired up the electric start, 30hp Suzuki, which spun a 21/4 x 12” propeller, then moved slowly to Eastern Passage before gaining speed and entering North Arm.
Here we could put the 425 Big Kahuna through its paces, which proved to be a truly enjoyable experience. The throttle control on the Suzuki was easy to handle, allowing for smooth, safe acceleration, while pushing and pulling the tiller to execute a series of tight turns required very little effort. As well, we were very impressed with how easily and smoothly the Suzuki allowed movement from forward into reverse.
But beyond that, it was the series of fast turns that captivated us. The balance of power with the superb hull produced excellent grip, requiring the skipper to make good use of the handy deck grab rail. On long straight runs the tiller needed minimal attention and all the while the Suzuki did its job perfectly.
There is much to like, admire and enjoy about this Savage 425 Big Kahuna, so to learn more, or experience it for yourself, contact Don Morton Marine on 8347 0011.